Thailand flooding update November 16, 2011: All dry in 2 weeks?

Here’s the latest as of 1 p.m. today, Wed. November 16, 2011:

Note: I have not come across any interesting new maps or images in recent days, so this post, along with future ones, may simply include links to notable news stories.

Remember that for previous summaries of the situation, maps, images, etc., see the Thailand flooding tag.

And for more frequent updates, you can follow me on Twitter.

News reports

The AP reports today:

Flood waters in Thailand’s capital are continually receding and all main streets will be dry in two weeks, authorities said Wednesday, providing long-overdue good news after months of inundation that have killed 564 people nationwide.

Also Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will announce a “substantial” aid package when she arrives on a hastily arranged trip to express solidarity, officials said.

A New York Times story from yesterday says:

Troops and army trucks are rolling through the streets of Bangkok again. But this time it is not to battle protesters or overthrow a prime minister.

Instead, they are ferrying residents around the city on heavy-duty military vehicles that can get through its flooded streets, with banners on each one reading “Royal Thai Army helping the people.”

In a country deeply divided over the military’s role in civilian life, Thailand’s top generals have used the floods, the worst the country has had in decades, as an opportunity to showcase the army’s friendlier side.

The WSJ‘s Southeast Asia Real Time reports:

Thailand’s transport authorities have a fresh flood problem — people are putting metal spikes on submerged roads.

In some parts of the country, unknown persons have placed spikes on the road in an apparent bid to puncture vehicle tires and prevent buses and supply trucks getting in and out of affected areas. Some officials suspect profiteers selling basic goods at inflated prices are to blame as they try to prevent relief efforts getting to badly affected areas. Others say boat operators might be sabotaging the relief effort because the arrival of trucks in flooded areas threatens their business.

And finally, for a glimpse at the lighter side of the Thai floods, check out the Thai Flood Hacks site, which showcases innovations like animal flotation devices and improvised boats.

Related AP story:

Flooded out but still want to make a fashion statement? Try these lime green rubber boots. Feeling stir crazy with the fetid waters surrounding your home? How about special snorkels to keep your car running in high water – or a jet ski to navigate submerged streets?

In Bangkok, a tireless Asian mega-city never shy about making a buck, an ongoing flood disaster has provided plenty of opportunity for business ingenuity to flourish.

(All emphasis mine.)